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The Future of Wearable Technology in the Workplace

Categories: Technology

 

Mention of a product or service does not constitute and endorsement by NIOSH or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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Author wearing Google Glasses. Photo courtesy of Dr. Nabeel.

An era of remarkable innovation is underway. We’re looking at the advent of brand-new technologies called “Wearable Computers”. Wearable computers, also known as body-borne computers or wearables, are defined as “miniature electronic devices that are worn by the bearer under, with or on top of clothing”. (dictionary.com). We are already starting to appreciate their presence in our daily lives as people start wearing devices like Fitbit, Nike fuel band, Jawbone Up, Pebble Watch, even the device to track dog’s activity, “Whistle”.

In early 2013, I became part of the select group of 8,000 selected for the social experiment conducted by Google called the “Google Glass Explorer Program”.   The goal for this unique national social experiment was to figure out how wearable computers could work in a complex social setting. Last year, I was fortunate to be invited to present my experiences to NIOSH staff in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Can Predictive Analytics Help Reduce Workplace Risk?

Categories: Safety and Health Data, Technology

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” — Niels Bohr

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  • Text message to chemical plant manager: Chlorine leak expected on line 2 tomorrow. Inspect and repair.
  • High priority email and automatic call to coal mine superintendent: 83% chance of roof fall on section 4. Evacuate immediately and take corrective actions.
  • Monthly notice to OSHA regional administrator: HIGH PRIORITY INSPECTION ROSTER: Firms listed below have a greater than 80% probability of violations reflecting hazardous conditions requiring mitigation.

Connecting Occupational Public Health and Patient Care Through Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Categories: Safety and Health Data, Technology

ehr2This week is Health IT Week which recognizes efforts to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, increase patient safety, decrease medical errors, and strengthen the interaction between patients and healthcare providers via electronic health records (EHR).  NIOSH is working to improve occupational safety and health through health information technology.

In 2007, NIOSH undertook a seemingly straightforward task: to incorporate work information in electronic health records (EHRs).

So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?

Categories: Hearing Loss, Technology

Figure 1. The SoundMeter app on the iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4S (R) compared to ½” Larson-Davis 2559 random incidence type 1 microphone (C).

As of June 2013, 60% of all mobile subscribers use smartphones—that’s more than 140 million devices. Apple iOS and Google Android platforms account for 93% of those devices [Nielsen, 2013]. Smartphone developers now offer many sound measurement applications (apps) using the devices’ built-in microphone (or through an external microphone for more sophisticated applications). The use of smartphone sound measurement apps can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the areas of noise research and noise control in the workplace as every smartphone can be potentially turned into a dosimeter or a sound level meter

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